The increased demand for seats at St Joseph’s College of Commerce, which currently takes only 700 students, led to the management introducing a new Bachelor of Commerce course at SJC. This new course received a whopping 2,700 applications, according to Prof Cyril, Coordinator of the new Department. After several interviews held over two months, 380 candidates were selected, 20 short of the university’s prescribed limit. These students were divided into four sections, each with at least 85 students. The course was formally inaugurated with an official function on Saturday, June 21.
“The four of us were hired in February. The course planning then took place over the next four months”, said Dr Christo Selvan, who teaches financial accounting. As SJC is an autonomous institution, subject departments are free to design their own syllabi. The teachers, therefore, formulated the syllabus drawing from their varied professional and teaching experience: Prof Cyril, an SJCC alumnus, used to work as a tax associate for private firm. Dr Christo Selvan taught at East London University in Malaysia and Prof Nisha Bosco at St Annes, Bangalore; Prof Amita Priyadarshini recently graduated from the Commerce College. While drafting the syllabus, the teachers also consulted with departments at St Joseph’s College of Commerce, Christ University, Lady Shri Ram College and Loyola College.
The B Com students will have four main papers each semester, besides the mandatory two languages in the first two years. The current set comprises Business Environment, Economics, Math for Management and Financial Accounting. Additionally, the department is planning an investment in library material worth 5 lakh per annum, for the next three years.
Classes begin at 7 am and end at 12 noon. According to Dr Christo, the idea is to allow ample time for the students to gain experience outside the classroom, via additional courses or part time jobs. In fact, the department will be hosting Yeshas Academy, Bangalore, who will teach a course in chartered accountancy to interested students after class hours.
But due to the early working hours and clashes with schedules of some of the other language departments, the Commerce students have only three options–Additional English, Hindi and Kannada. Prof Shijo Kurian from the English department says that the overwhelming number of students in each class makes providing individual attention a little difficult, but the students have been responding well.
The students have already formed the Commerce Association of St Joseph’s College, headed by a 6-member core committee. Dr Christo listed out their plan for the year, which include seminars, workshops, and interclass and intercollegiate fests.